At first, Sherlock had resisted Molly accompanying him after his fall. He'd been determined to go about things along. But Sherlock did not realize how stubborn Molly Hooper could be when she wanted to. He'd lost everything else in his life. He had- in essence- lost his life itself. But there was still her. She would not leave him. Besides, there were too many questions, too many broken hearts in London. She couldn't deal with them all. She'd tendered her resignation at Barts. There hadn't been any question as to why she had. Everyone knew how she'd felt about Sherlock. With the turn against him, it seemed she might not have kept her job for long anyway, with the access she'd given him. She slipped away easily, leaving the country with Sherlock by her side, using falsified documents to travel. Moriarty's network still had to be dismantled. One of them would have the evidence needed to clear Sherlock's name. He already had some solid leads. Once the network was brought down, maybe they could return home.
The trip- which had been continuous for the past year- had so far reminded Molly greatly of the trips she'd taken with her father. Well, there were distinct differences. She and her father had never hunted criminals. She'd also not been attracted to her father- which was a disgusting thought, now that she had it. Still, the tension between her and Sherlock was thick every time they bedded down. At least from her side. Sherlock was the same as ever.
They were currently in Oregon, walking down the side of the road, a large forest to their right. Molly sighed and scrubbed her face before adjusting the backpack containing their belongings. She then looked up at the starry sky.
It had been a bit of a perfect storm of problems. First, the mobile battery had run out. Then, their rental car had died. It was abandoned several kilometers back. Sherlock wasn't concerned about its safe return. Rather, he was preoccupied with being able to get to their next destination, which was Nevada.
It had been ages since they'd seen any sign of civilization. Then, they saw the large black car, it's chrome gleaming in the moonlight. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be anyone in it.
Molly let out a sigh and leaned against the trunk of the car. "Can we stop for a minute, Sherlock?" Molly asked, rubbing the back of her neck. She glanced to the car. Why exactly was it abandoned at the side of the road, when it was obviously well loved?
Sherlock glanced at Molly in irritation. He just wanted to get to whatever town was nearby and find transportation. They needed to get to Nevada. The longer it took them to get there, the longer it would take them to find Sebastian Moran. He thought longingly of finally returning to his life at 221B. Of revealing to John he was alive.
Deep inside, he wondered if any of that would ever be possible. Sometimes, it seemed like an impossible task.
Seeing the pathetic look on Molly's face, Sherlock waved his hands, allowing her a moment of respite. He peered into the window of the car, making deductions about the owner of the Chevrolet Impala. The car was in excellent condition, despite having been rebuilt several times. There were fast food wrappers scattered over the backseat. Whoever had been in it had been in it for a long while and did not care if the smell of half-finished hamburgers wafted through the car. Disgusting.
He was just about to make a comment to Molly about the owner's attachment to outdated music media, centered upon the hard rock genre when two men ran from the woods towards the car.
Molly jumped off the trunk of the car, running to Sherlock's side.
"I think we just made it angry, Sammy!" The shorter of the two men said.
"It was supposed to work!" The other- 'Sammy'- replied, letting out a loud groan.
Both men looked like they had been in a brawl. 'Sammy' had a gash in his side, blood soaking through his plaid shirt. Both men had salt on them. Sammy was carrying a large iron crowbar, while the unnamed one carried a shotgun. Both men had small firearms on their person. It was obvious from their appearances and their familiarity that they were siblings.
The men paused momentarily, seeing Sherlock and Molly for the first time. They looked at each other warily.
Despite their injuries, all Sherlock wanted to do was get a ride to the next town. However, he knew Molly would want to fuss over 'Sammy'. He glanced to his companion.
The look on Molly's face was not the sympathetic concern he had come to expect from the woman. Rather, her brows were knit and her lower lip was drawn up. It was not concern, but rather some sort of inner conflict. She seemed to be doing a similar scan of the men that Sherlock had done. She'd been attempting to mimic his deductions since they'd begun travelling together. She'd been rather pitiful at it.
"What's after you?" Molly asked. Her voice had an edge to it Sherlock had never seen before.
"Huh?" The smaller man asked dumbly.
"Forget it." Molly shook her head. She opened the car door. "Take us with you wherever you're going. I can sew up your friend. Then you can tell me what's going on and we'll figure out what you did wrong. I'm Molly, this is Sherlock."
"I'm Dean," he introduced himself. "Bleeding guy's my brother Sam. Come on."
Sherlock stood outside the door, in shock of the new energy that seemed to possess Molly. She had climbed into the backseat of the car and was knocking the garbage onto the floor. "Sherlock, come on!" She snapped.
There was something unnerving about hearing Molly Hooper so commanding, but Sherlock did as she told him, sliding into the backseat with her. The two men then got into the front and Dean revved the engine. The car roared off down the road.
Molly was poking her head between the front seats, trying to assist Sam. "Keep pressure on the wound."
"Listen lady," Dean said, giving her a glare. "This isn't the first wound we've dealt with."
"I bet," Molly said. "I told you my name is Molly. If you're not going to use that, then you can use Doctor. And if I patch up Sam, it's going to be a lot neater than anything you could do. Medical school and all that."
Sherlock rolled his eyes. This was all patently ridiculous. This Sam and Dean clearly did not want their help. Sherlock did not particular want to give it to them. But Molly was insistent.
"How far is it to the next town?" Sherlock asked irritably. "We're in a hurry."
"Ten minute, limey," Dean shot back at him. "Don't get your panties in a bunch. Can't be in as much of a hurry as the guy with his guts falling out."
"I'm fine, Dean," Sam groaned. "Just get me to the motel."
Sherlock's lip curled in a snarl as he glared at the back of Dean's head. The sooner they were away from these men, the better. Limey indeed.
It felt like a switch had been flipped inside of Molly. The sight of the boys made the memories she'd locked away flood back to her. She followed the boys into their motel room, while Sherlock reluctantly trailed behind.
"We're not going to get anywhere tonight," Molly said gently to Sherlock, forcing herself to smile at him with the apologetic look she'd always given him when she told him the type of corpse he needed hadn't come in yet. "Let me take care of Sam and we'll get a room here for the night. Even you can't go without sleep forever."
Sherlock snorted at her and she rolled her eyes, turning her attention back to Sam. He groaned as he removed his shirt. Molly bit her lip. With any other man, she might turn beet red at seeing his bare chest, especially as Sam was very fit. But her eyes were riveted to the tattoo on the right side of his chest, just under his collarbone
She'd been fairly certain before and now she was positive. She dug into her backpack and pulled out the first aid kit she'd insisted they bring with them. Sherlock had protested they would be fine, but she'd been forced to tend to wounds on both of them several times.
"Know you boys probably have your own supplies, but I bet mine are better," Molly commented.
Molly felt Dean peering over her shoulder. "Actually, I would've used whiskey and dental floss."
"You two must be really scarred up," Molly commented lightly as she sterilized her tools. She glanced up to Sam. "Just to warn you, I'm a pathologist, so my patients are usually dead. I can't promise this won't hurt." She let out a nervous twitter.
"It's fine," Sam hissed.
Molly gave him a bright smile. "Yeah. You're a tough guy." She began to probe the wound, picking out the foreign material. There were some bits of his shirt in the wound, as well as things that had probably been on the claws that wounded him.
Claws? Yes, definitely claws.
"Is it just the two of you?" Molly asked as she continued to tend to Sam. She could feel all of the questions bubbling up, the reminders of years she thought she'd left behind with medical school and the morgue. "What are you carrying? Salt and iron... Don't see a spook being able to do this kind of damage. You're dealing with something demonic."
There was another snort from Sherlock. "Molly, do stop being ridiculous. What in the world do you think you're-"
"Shut up, Sherlock!" Molly snapped. She whirled around to face Sherlock briefly. The shock on his face was plainly evident. "If you haven't noticed, I am doing a rather delicate procedure here! You also have absolutely no idea what I am talking about! So will you- for once- not insist on having an opinion on absolutely everything."
Sherlock was quiet for a long moment. Finally, he muttered, "I still think you're being ridiculous."
"She told you," Dean said, his voice filled with far too much pleasure.
"Oh shut up," Sherlock snapped.
"You always let your girlfriend boss you around like that?" Dean asked mockingly.
"That you would believe that Molly Hooper is my girlfriend just proves what I had already deduced: that you are an utterly prosaic individual who is utterly unworthy of my time. You should really do all of humanity a favour and have yourself sterilized, lest your inferior genetics continue to degrade the already suffering human race."
"You're the prosaic," Dean finished lamely.
Molly tried her best to ignore the two men bickering behind her. She finished sewing and bandaging Sam's wound. She gave him a smile. "You're a very good patient, Sam. I know you want to get this thing, but if you pop those stitches, you're going to make an even bigger mess of yourself. Better leave it up to Dean and me."
She turned around to face Dean and Sherlock. Dean was shaking his head. "Listen, Doctor Molly, thanks for patching up Sammy and everything, but I'm not leaving anything else up to you unless it's a tea party. I mean look at you." He gestured to her. "You're a British girl who weighs about as much as my leg."
Molly put her hands on her hips. "Tell me what you're up against and I'll tell you if I can handle it. I've been out of the life for a while, but it's like a bicycle."
Dean looked at her in disbelief. "Yeah, 'cause you were in the life."
"Until I went to med school," Molly replied. "And believe me when I tell you, England's got things older and nastier than anything across the pond."
Sherlock took a step towards Molly. "Molly Hooper, what on Earth are you babbling about?"
Molly looked up at Sherlock. She took a deep, trembling breath. The rush of adrenaline that had filled her at the sight of Sam and Dean had faded. Now she was left standing in front of Sherlock, feeling his intense gaze and she felt her inside squirm. "They're Hunters, Sherlock. They hunt monsters. And so do I."
Sherlock learns the truth about Molly's past and the world of the supernatural.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Sherlock rolled his eyes at Molly. "If you are going to act ridiculous, I'm going to leave you here with these two strangers."
The expression on Molly's face was one he had never seen before on her. In fact, everything about her had changed. She was confident and certain. Of course, it seemed she was confident about something that was perfectly absurd.
Dean crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm still having trouble believing you're a Hunter, Lady. Sorry- Doctor Lady."
Molly rolled her eyes and brazenly lifted the hem of her blouse and lowered the waistband of her jeans. Low on her hip, Sherlock could see the tattoo that matched the one Sam had on his chest- a pentacle enclosed inside of a sun. Hers seemed older than theirs. At least twenty years old, by his estimation. That seemed strange, as it meant she got it as a child.
Dean's brow furrowed and he nodded slowly. "Kinda hot. Got any others?" He looked her over appraisingly.
Sherlock felt his irritation growing at the confusion of the situation and Dean's lustful ogling of Molly. "MOLLY HOOPER! What do you mean 'monsters'? Do you mind telling me exactly when it is your went insane?"
Molly sighed, running a hand through her hair. As she turned back to Sherlock, something of his shy pathologist seemed to return. "Sherlock, there's... A whole world out there you don't know about."
Sherlock snorted derisively, crossing his arms over his chest. "While I recognize that there is a considerable amount of unimportant things that I have remained willfully unaware of, I can say with all certainty that what you're referring to is impossible."
Dean shook his head. "Thanks for taking care of Sammy, but you two go have- whatever you're having- somewhere else. We've got things to do. CAS! Get your feathery ass down here!"
Sherlock opened his mouth to say something savage against Dean's intellect when he jumped at the sound of beating wings. His eyes widened at the sight of the dark-haired man in the dirty overcoat that had appeared beside Dean. "Your attempts have been unsuccessful."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Yeah, tell us something we don't know."
Sherlock scrambled backwards at the sudden appearance. Molly was in front of him in a heartbeat, cupping his face. Her slender fingers soothed over his cheeks. "Sherlock, calm down."
"I am calm!" Sherlock snapped irritably, his heart thundering in his chest. "I just want to know how the hell that man," He pointed towards the new arrival. "Appeared like that!"
"Just breathe, Sherlock," Molly insisted. She turned her head as well to look at the man. "But an explanation would be nice."
"I am Castiel," he explained. "I am an Angel of the Lord."
Sherlock shook his head frantically. The blood was rushing in his ears. He was bitterly reminded of Baskerville. He pushed Molly's hands away from him to face Castiel. "No. That is impossible."
Castiel walked up to Sherlock, cocking his head to the side. "A wise man once said: 'Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.'."
Sherlock stilled, looking into the man's intensely blue eyes. "I said that."
Castiel now cocked his head to the other side, as if trying to observe Sherlock from another perspective. "Is there any one else you think is wiser than yourself, Sherlock?"
Sherlock tried to scramble away from Castiel- out of the room entirely- but he found his hands held tightly by Molly. "Sherlock, breathe. You really need to breathe." She laughed nervously, looking at Castiel. "I've never met an angel before. Neat."
Castiel's brow furrowed. "That's impossible. You bear the mark of heaven on you."
Now Molly looked surprised as her brown eyes widened and her mouth fell open. "I... A mark? You're talking about when I... That's where I was?"
"All souls that have been there bear the mark." Castiel narrowed his gaze. "Who pulled you out?"
"All right!" Dean threw his hands up in the air. "Can we please get back to the important issue? Cas, we weren't able to kill that thing and now Cerberus has our scents."
"Cerberus?" Molly exclaimed. "You two are fighting against Hellhounds?"
Dean smiled tightly. "Not just Hellhounds, Doc. The Hellhound. The King of Hell's got a hard on for us right now. Sent his biggest and meanest puppy after us."
"I really hope salt rounds and iron weren't all you had," Molly commented. "Even against normal Hellhounds that wouldn't be enough."
"Tell us about it," Sam grumbled, looking down at his bandage.
Castiel turned back to face Dean. He moved in close. Sherlock watched the two interact, the way the angel looked at the man. There was clearly a profound connection between the two men. Sherlock felt a stab in his heart, memories of John coming back to him.
"I can mask your scent from Cerberus temporarily," Castiel said, he placed his hand on Dean's chest. He then went to Sam, doing the same to him. "But it will not last. It will also kill... Anyone... In an attempt to lure you out. Especially those you have interacted with." He looked to Sherlock and Molly. "I would advise killing him quickly."
With that, the 'angel' disappeared. The vague sound of fluttering feathers echoed through the room. Sherlock gave another start. Molly was again cradling his face in a comforting gesture. "Sherlock... Please breathe."
"I'm perfectly fine!" Sherlock snapped, not believing the words himself. "I am just- We should leave immediately."
"I'm not just going to leave these guys," Molly insisted. "Cerberus might come after us. Besides... They're up against Cerberus. That's some big time evil. They may be the Winchesters, but-"
Molly then went still. Sherlock noticed Dean standing behind her, reaching into his jacket. Molly reached into hers as well and whirled around to face him.
Molly had drawn the gun Sherlock had insisted she carry. She'd been so reluctant, despite being a natural shot when he'd taught her to use it. She had no hesitance in her stance now as she and Dean pointed guns at each other.
"How did you know our last name?" Dean demanded. "Never told you."
"Sam and Dean Winchester," Molly said firmly. "You're Bobby Singer's boys, right?"
Dean's eyes were hard as he looked over Molly. "You knew Bobby?"
Molly bit her lower lip. "Knew?" She held her hand up, gun pointed towards the ceiling in surrender. "I'm going to lower it now. Please do the same... When did he die?"
"Year and a half ago," Dean replied, relaxing as he lowered his own gun. "How did you know Bobby?"
"1991," Molly replied. "He and Rufus Turner tracked a pack of ghouls all the way to Cardiff. Two of the best hunters Dad and I ever worked with, tracking that far. Bobby knew the importance of networking. Saved him the trouble of crossing the pond again."
"I never saw a Molly listed in Bobby's book," Sam interjected.
"Arthur Hooper," Molly replied. "Would have been listed as deceased. And then a Doctor Hooper. St Bartholomew's Hospital Morgue, London, England."
Dean finally slipped his gun away. "Always thought it was weird Bobby had some English doctor in his book."
Molly shrugged. "There aren't many hunters who have a professional knowledge of postmortems. Needed my expertise more than once."
Sherlock had enough. He didn't want to listen to this ridiculousness anymore. He turned and strode for the door.
"SHERLOCK!" Molly called after him.
Molly ran after Sherlock out into the parking lot of the motel. It wasn't safe for him out there, especially if Cerberus had been able to track Sam and Dean. She cursed how much longer Sherlock's legs were than hers. "Sherlock, please stop!"
Sherlock turned, his coat whirling with the movement. "What the hell are you doing, Molly?"
Molly shook her head. "I don't-"
"I observed you in there." He pointed towards Sam and Dean's motel room. "Nothing you were saying was a lie. However, you are not insane. So I do not understand what is going on."
"I told you, Sherlock," Molly sighed. "I'm a Hunter. A Monster Hunter."
Sherlock shook his head. "Monsters do not exist."
"They do." Molly bit her lower lip. "Monsters, demons, angels... Just about everything supernatural you can think of exists. You're just not meant to see it."
"I see everything," Sherlock insisted. "I've known you for four years, Molly Hooper. How did I not know this?"
"I haven't hunted since my dad died," Molly replied. "I was done. I was out."
Sherlock raised his chin, looking down at Molly imperiously. "I should have still known."
Molly felt the irritation flooding her. She put her hands on her hips. "Are you upset that the supernatural exists, Sherlock... Or are you mad you weren't able to deduce something about me?"
"You lied to me," Sherlock hissed. "For years."
Molly shook her head savagely. "No, Sherlock! I just didn't tell you about my past! You may be cleverer than everyone in the world, but just because you can read things about people doesn't mean everyone has to tell you everything they have ever done in their life. This was something that was behind me. You didn't need to know it."
Sherlock threw himself down onto a bench outside the motel's diner. He reached into his coat and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. "Tell me now."
Molly sat down next to Sherlock. She wrung her hands together. "When I was really small, I thought my dad was a lorry driver. He was away from home a lot. And then it happened. He had been tracking a demon and it found me and Mum."
"Your mum left home when you were five," Sherlock murmured.
Molly felt a stab in her chest. "She did. Because of what happened when the demon attacked."
Sherlock furrowed his brow as he took a drag of his cigarette. "She's dead?"
Molly shook her head. "No. She's not. But she was gone. And Dad wouldn't give up. So he took me out with him. Fighting demons."
Molly felt the tears stinging her eyes. "He was... Lovely, my dad. He was brave and always took care of me. And he taught me how to fight. But then..." Molly looked down.
"He died," Sherlock finished.
Molly nodded. "He knew he was dying. He didn't want me to stay in the life. Made me promise to leave it. Said I always had a knack for patching him up. I should go to medical school. So he sold a bunch of our amulets in order to afford to send me to school. And I put it behind me."
"Why doesn't everyone know about the supernatural world?" Sherlock asked. Molly winced at the harshness of his voice.
"Because they can't," Molly replied. "Can you imagine the chaos?"
"You told Dean you used your knowledge as a hunter to assist you at Barts," Sherlock said slowly. Molly could feel his eyes on her and she shifted uncomfortably. She could almost hear his mind working to deduce her. "You covered up bodies that were killed by supernatural means. Made sure I did not investigate the deaths. You kept work from me."
Molly finally managed to look at the accusing eyes on her. "The ones that you wouldn't have been able to solve. The ones that would have gotten you killed. I had Hunter contacts. I got them to take care of it."
Sherlock's expression was dark. "I have known you as a quiet and reserved woman. Yet you were entirely different when interacting with Sam and Dean. Was that just a ruse, Molly Hooper? Did you lie to me about everything you are?"
Molly squeezed her eyes shut tightly. "No, Sherlock. I didn't lie. From the time I was five, I was in this world, working with my dad. This I can do. But it didn't exactly help me deal with gorgeous men I'm in love with."
Molly's eyes widened and her hand went to her mouth, covering it. "Oh!" She could feel her cheeks burning.
"I suppose that answers my question," Sherlock replied coolly. There was a touch of amusement in his voice. "Gorgeous?"
Molly couldn't meet his gaze. They remained quiet for a long time. Finally, Sherlock broke the silence, "Why didn't you just tell me?"
Molly shook her head. "You can't unlearn this, Sherlock. I know you think you can delete things from your mind, but do you really think you'd be able to delete this? That there are demons and monsters in the world? And those who find out about it... They hunt. And Hunters don't get to retire."
Molly looked up at Sherlock plaintively. "Does it look like I'm doing a very good job of that?"
She rose to her feet, shaking her head. "Sam and Dean are going to get themselves killed if they fight against Cerberus by themselves. I need to help them. If you go onto Nevada, it probably won't follow you. Not if I'm still here. I'll meet up with you."
Sherlock stood up. "Sebastian Moran will have to wait. Besides, this is the most interesting mystery I've had in a long time."
Molly cocked her head. "Huh?"
She could feel his gaze rake over her. "Who Molly Hooper really is."
-Okay, so it never made sense that those muttonheads Sam and Dean were the only guys who ever got the protection marks tattooed on them. I had to pick a… saucy… spot, due to the amount of skin we saw of Molly's in "Scandal".
-In my head canon, Bobby Singer. Knows. EVERYONE. He's just that awesome.
-The mention of selling amulets to fund Molly's education came from "Bad Day at Black Rock" in which Bela said that Hunters could make substantial money doing just that.
Dean finds out more about Molly's history as a Hunter.
An hour later, Molly had made sure Sherlock was secured in the motel room next to Sam and Dean, the door and window salted (much to his confusion and irritation). Molly had gone out to retrieve food from the diner along with Dean. They were sitting at the counter, waiting for their orders.
"Not sure how much I trust you," Dean said, eyeing Molly suspiciously.
Molly sighed and gave him a smile. "Isn't that the Hunter's way?" She looked down. "I'm not a demon, I'm not evil. I promise you."
Dean shook his head slowly. "Just seems like a big coincidence. Running into a Hunter randomly."
"Former Hunter, technically," Molly corrected him. She kicked her feet, as they didn't reach the floor due to the height of the stool she was sitting on. "I retired when I went to medical school."
"Hunters don't retire," Dean snapped darkly.
Molly nodded. "I know. I had to give it a try. I made a promise."
Dean's expression darkened further. "Hunters don't keep promises."
Molly bit her lower lip and looked down. "I know. That's why I'm still here." Molly could feel the feelings of regret and loss flooding her.
"Who did you promise?" Dean's voice was surprisingly gentle.
"My Dad," Molly replied. She could feel the corners of her mouth curve up in a small smile. "He was the one who taught me to hunt. But then... Something went wrong. One time. We were up against a demon." She could feel the tears prickling her eyes.
Dean nodded, understanding. "Dad dies, makes his daughter promise to quit the life with his last. Could be a movie."
Molly closed her eyes tightly to fight off the tears. She shook her head. "I'm the one who died." Taking a steadying breath, she looked up at Dean. "I didn't know what happened. Demon came at me. I woke up days later and I was fine."
Dean nodded slowly. "Cas said you had the Mark of Heaven."
"I didn't know about that," Molly murmured. "Not until he mentioned it. I guess... Souls that have been in heaven are always marked by it."
Dean sighed, muttering under his breath, "Geez, my soul's probably got more notches than my bedpost."
Molly crinkled her nose. "Huh?"
"Nevermind," Dean said quickly. "How were you brought back?"
"You of all people should know. Hunters are a really self-sacrificing lot." Molly let out a small, sad laugh. "Truth is, I didn't know what he had done until Bobby called me a few years ago. Wanted my dad's research on Crossroads deals. To help you get out of yours."
Dean's hands tightened into fists. "Your dad made a deal?"
Molly nodded. "They'd bring me back in exchange for my dad. He got a year."
Dean made a noise low in his throat. "Must be the Hunter Special."
"He never told me," Molly murmured. "Like I said, I didn't know until Bobby was looking for information on Crossroads deals. I hadn't read his journals. When- it- happened, I woke up and suddenly Dad wanted me to go off to school. He told me he was sick... And..."
Dean scowled. "Didn't tip you off when he got torn apart by wild dogs?"
"He shot himself," Molly snapped angrily. "The day before the contract was up. He said in his journal... He'd tried to find a way out of the deal that kept me alive. When it didn't work, he'd let them take him, but on his own terms."
"Sounds like a smart guy." Dean shivered visibly. Molly did not know much about Dean Winchester's history, but she did know about his time below. Clearly, he was remembering being taken by the Hounds.
The dark moment passed quickly as Dean looked up at Molly. "So what's the deal with you and tall, dark and pompous?"
"Oh." Molly could feel her cheeks becoming hot at the abrupt change in topic. "It's... Complicated."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Doc, nothing you could say is more complicated than my own life."
Molly worried her lower lip for a moment. "He's a genius detective who consulted for Scotland Yard until an equally genius psychopathic criminal named Jim Moriarty decided to make him his arch-nemesis, framing him and threatening to kill his friends unless he committed suicide. He then committed suicide himself so Sherlock couldn't force him to call off his assassins. But Sherlock had anticipated this and got me to help him fake his death. Now we're travelling around the world, dismantling Moriarty's criminal network and hoping we can find proof of Sherlock's innocence."
Dean stared blankly at Molly for far too long. Molly squirmed underneath the look. After what seemed like eternity, Dean nodded. "Well, all right then."
The waitress set two bags of food onto the counter, which Dean and Molly paid for before getting up and heading towards the door. Dean paused for a moment before turning back to face Molly. "So, you helped him fake his death and left your life behind to follow him." He furrowed his brow. "So I've got absolutely no shot, huh?"
Molly's eyes went wide. "Wha- Oh-oh... Ah..."
Dean smiled winsomely. "Molly, you are a vast improvement on every other English person I've ever met."
When Dean got back to his motel room, he found Sam laying on his bed, his laptop open. Dean reached into the bag from the diner and pulled out a plastic container, holding it out to Sam. "Brought you the froofiest salad they had. How are you feeling, Sammy?"
"Better than if you had patched me up," Sam replied, taking the salad. "Been finding all I can on our new neighbours."
Dean threw himself down onto his bed and pulled a greasy bacon cheeseburger out of the bag. He took a big bite. "Anything interesting?" He asked, mouth full.
"There's not a lot on Molly Hooper," Sam replied. Pathologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, like she said. Left last year under some pretty dicey circumstances. What's interesting is Sherlock."
Dean swallowed. "It say he dead?"
Sam's brow furrowed as he looked over at his brother. "How did you know?"
"Molly was telling me about it," Dean replied, taking the flask from his pocket and taking a drink. "He faked his death because some criminal mastermind-"
"James Moriarty," Sam supplied.
Dean nodded. "Yeah, he framed him and tried to kill his friends or something... I dunno, she kinda rambles."
Sam shook his head slowly. "Why would she be up front about that kind of thing? She doesn't even know us."
"We're Hunters, Sammy." Dean laid back in bed, taking another bite of his burger. "What are we going to do? Run to the police in England to tell them about their not-dead detective?"
"Okay, fair point." Sam nodded. He closed up his computer. "Do you really think we should trust them?"
Dean shrugged. "If we don't, what do we got? An angel that's not up to full strength and..." He looked around. "Yeah, other than that I've got nothing. So if Little Miss Hunter Doctor and Columbo want to give us an assist ganking this puppy, I'm inclined to take them up on it."
Sam put his computer aside. "That's a change from you pointing a gun at her."
Dean looked away. "Yeah, well... I talked to her. Her story sounds not only legit, but pretty damn familiar."
Sam pushed his hair out of his face. "Okay, so she's all right... But what about the supposed to be dead, supposedly crazy genius?"
Dean paused for a moment, pursing his lips. "Well, him I might have to gank too. Dude's already working my last nerve."
Sherlock arranges for a meeting with Crowley, but becomes disturbed when Crowley has something to tell him personally.
"Hellhounds," Sherlock said questioningly.
Dean nodded as he slipped his gun into his jacket. "Hellhounds. Hounds of hell."
Sherlock was a man of logic. Up until yesterday, logic dictated that the world of the supernatural did not exist. However, the appearance of an angel had made him doubt that. He was trying to come up with reasons that could have happened. But he was actually coming up at a loss. He had to accept that at the very least, psychic men who could appear and disappear at will existed.
He'd spent the night on Molly's computer. The contents of her hard drive hadn't ever been of particular interest to him since given her personality, he had reasoned that it was most likely filled to the brim with photos of sickeningly sweet kittens with ridiculous captions on them. Having opened up the hard drive had settled the satisfaction of knowing he had at least been partially right as he browsed through one feline photo after another, further confirming that Molly was still an orderly person that loved cataloging things. Which had made finding the protected file with all her information on demons, monsters and all things supernatural both insightful and deeply disturbing to his calm.
Despite what he'd gleaned from her hard drive, he was still doubting this was not some elaborate fantasy.
"Have you three been anywhere near Liberty, Indiana lately?"
Sam sat up. "I know it's hard to believe, Sherlock, but this is nothing like the fear gas you and John Watson encountered."
Sherlock's brow furrowed as he looked to the tall man still in bed. "You've read John's blog?"
Sam nodded. "Yeah. Wanted to know about you and Molly."
For a moment, Sherlock felt a thrill of panic at the idea of Sam and Dean knowing all about him. He was, after all, supposed to be dead.
Then again, these men had an arsenal of illegal weaponry. A cursory look around their motel room revealed fake IDs for law enforcement all over the country. They were hardly in a comfortable position to turn him into the authorities.
The situation was dangerous, both physically and legally. It would do no good in his mission to track down Moriarty's inner circle.
He was allowing this indulgence into the patently ridiculous if only to see the other side of Molly Hooper. While wisps of his reserved pathologist were definitely present, she had a confidence he had never seen before. He watched her packing salt rounds into a shotgun. She handled the weapon with expertise he'd never imagined Molly to possess.
"Tell me about Hellhounds," Sherlock demanded, glaring at Dean. "Specifically, Cerberus."
Molly gave him a reproachful look, silently chastising him for his sharp tone. In his head, he could hear John: A bit not good.
"I would say it nicer," Molly said to Sherlock. She then turned to Dean. "But I'd like to know. I mean, I know a bit about Hellhounds... But I'm going to bet you two know more."
Dean gave a nod. "All right then. Hellhounds are vicious, nearly indestructible and love to drag people down to hell."
Sherlock rolled his eyes at the irritating man. "While I understand your own personal experience with them was traumatic, I would appreciate something a little more substantial than that." He looked to Sam. He seemed the far more intelligent of the brothers.
"Cerberus isn't any different than any other Hellhound, really," Sam supplied. "He's just the oldest. The original. Bigger, meaner, stronger than the garden variety. And he commands the others."
Molly frowned. "And it's not like the others were that easy to begin with."
Sam nodded. "Exactly. Anyway, Hellhounds are a species of demon. All demons are human souls that were condemned to hell. Hellhounds have been down in the pit for so long, they turn feral. Not powerful enough to rise in the demon ranks, but they become mean and bloodthirsty. They can manifest without a meat suit, meaning they're invisible to humans."
Sherlock cocked his head. "Meat suit?"
Molly shuddered visibly. She was clearly uncomfortable with the current conversation. "Regular demons can't manifest on Earth in human form. They just appear as black smoke. But they can take over a human vessel. Infect them. The body then becomes the demon's- even their blood is changed." At those words, Sam now shuddered. Sam Winchester had a history involving demon blood. Judging from his haunted expression, Sherlock would have guessed he had been infected with it. Or else... Enjoyed it? Was addicted to it? It seemed ridiculous, but that seemed to be the word of the moment.
Molly bit her lip, continuing on. "The human soul is still in there, but they can't do anything to stop the demon."
Dean nodded. "Doc's got it right. But with Hellhounds, it's different. They're strong enough to get physical here. We just can't see them. Not unless you're about to be dragged down."
Sherlock narrowed his gaze on Dean. "So tell me... What do they look like when you're about to be dragged down?"
Dean's expression was cold. "You don't want to know."
"I will accept that some sort of remarkably strong, invisible feral dog exists," Sherlock said, although he had difficulty hiding his reluctance. "But their origin? The soul? Don't be absurd."
Both Sam and Dean glared at Sherlock. He sighed a their expressions.
"Sherlock," Molly said gently. She stepped in front of him. "I know this is difficult for you, but you're going to have to accept that you're not the cleverest person in the room when it comes to the supernatural. Dean, Sam and I have been doing this for a long time." She held out the shotgun to him. "Here. It's loaded up with salt rounds."
"Salt rounds aren't going to do it," Sam said, rubbing his side gingerly. "Didn't even make a dent in it yesterday."
"But you got away," Molly pointed out. "Not many people can say that about Hellhounds. Especially not the Hellhound. At least it's something. Are you guys sure you don't have any idea what might take it out for good?"
Dean shook his head. "Short of the Colt, I don't know. And Lucifer's mooks got that thing. You got any bright ideas, Doc? You even gone up against Hellhounds?"
Molly nodded. "Yeah. About ten years ago."
Sam's brow lifted in interest, moving closer to Molly. "What did you use?"
Molly slumped her shoulders. "Won't do us any good. Getting hold of one of the Swords of Wayland is really very difficult." She paused before giving Sam an awkward smile. "It's a long story."
Dean rubbed his eyes with his hand. "So what are we supposed to do? The only thing we've had be really effective in killing a Hellhound is a pipe-bomb."
Sherlock arched a brow. "So why don't you use a pipe-bomb again?"
"It only worked because they were inside of a building," Dean snapped back irritably. "And we lost two friends in the process."
Sherlock cocked his head. "Well. I think the answer is simple then."
Sam narrowed his gaze on Sherlock. "What are you talking about?"
"You say the King of Hell is determined to kill you. Then he is what you need to defeat, not the Hellhounds." Sherlock went to the door and opened it, disturbing the salt line. "Maybe we should have a conversation with him."
All three of the Hunters leapt at him.
"What are you doing?" Molly cried. "Sherlock you-"
"Well now, this is interesting." There was a new voice in the room. All four turned to face the new arrival. Sherlock immediately scanned over him, but found the results to be confusing and contradictory.
Then, he had never done a scan on the King of Hell before.
"Crowley," Sam spat at the well-dressed man.
Crowley smiled up at Sam, his eyes smug and malevolent. "Moose... It's been a while. Having fun with my pups?"
Molly's arm went out in front of Sherlock, blocking him from the demon.
"Well." Crowley nodded, looking around. "I never thought I'd see a group like this. Is this... Some sort of convention I don't know about?"
"What are you talking about?" Dean snapped.
"It's just..." Crowley walked around the humans. "Molly Hooper and Sherlock Holmes. Not really the type of people you'd expect to associate with the Winchesters. The only thing I can think of that binds the four of you together is how you wouldn't be here without deals from down below."
"What?" Sam shook his head.
"Do try to keep up, Gigantor," Crowley sighed. "You, of course, know about your father's deal to save Dean. And then Dean's deal to save you. I guess Doctor Hooper hasn't told you that her father did the same thing for her. You Hunters really can't wait to sacrifice yourselves." He turned his attention to Molly. "You should know, under my management, your father's afterlife is a lot less bloody... Relatively speaking, of course."
Sherlock looked down at Molly briefly. While she had been fierce and determined, he saw her face cut at the mention of her father. He reached a hand out, squeezing her shoulder comfortingly.
"You've done nothing for me," Sherlock said firmly.
Crowley chuckled. "Haven't I?" He approached Sherlock slowly. Molly stepped back in the way, blocking his path. She pointed her shotgun at his chest.
Crowley pushed the gun aside. "Out of the way, Buffy... I'm not going to hurt your boy-toy."
"Molly," Sherlock said quietly. "It's all right."
Molly seemed to debate with herself for another moment before stepping aside. Crowley got in close to Sherlock, looking him straight in the eyes with an air of supreme arrogance and assuredness Sherlock had never seen before. "You- of all people- owe me. You wouldn't be who you are without me."
Sherlock stared down at Crowley, unwavering in his gaze. "I highly doubt it."
"1989. I made the deal myself. It was a very unique request. And he was a very unique client. Oh, he could have asked for money, infamy... But no, he wanted to get all of that on his own. And he did. Only twelve years old when he made the deal too."
Sherlock didn't need to ask the name of the client. He knew it already. "Moriarty."
"That's impossible," Molly blurted out. "Moriarty died last year. Crossroads deals only last ten years."
Crowley turned to point a finger at Molly. "It is negotiable, sweetheart. Your Dad only got one year. But Jim... Oh, he was useful. It's always good to have people top side working for us. He got an extra year for every soul he brought to us. A finder's fee. And he was very good at finding people who needed things." He sighed. "It's a shame he got so preoccupied with Sherlock. I had to put my dogs on him. He could hear the howling of my pups when he put the bullet in his brain." He smirked. "A lot like your dad, Molly. Well, they do say you girls fall in love with your Daddies."
"I never loved Jim," Molly spat back.
"Maybe not," Crowley laughed. "But you sure liked him. And you never suspected what he might be doing for me. Hunter's instinct must've dulled over the years."
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Whatever Moriarty's deal with you was, it could not have anything to do with me."
"It was for you," Crowley snapped back, facing Sherlock once again. "He wanted an equal. A Yin to his Yang. Someone who would keep him from getting bored. A consulting detective to his consulting criminal."
Sherlock's body stiffened as Crowley spoke. He looked away from the demon finally.
"Do you know what the first thing he did after selling his soul was?" Crowley asked. He laughed coldly. "Of course you do. What was it, Sherlock?"
"Carl Powers," Sherlock murmured.
"Your first case," Crowley finished. "What made you decide to become a detective. I've been watching you a long time, Sherlock. Getting you into place for Jim. You did pretty well on your own, but it wasn't until I made sure that army doctor got shot that you were ripe for him."
Sherlock's hands clenched into shaking fists. "John..."
"The dominos of your life have fallen the way I wanted them to, Sherlock. All because Jim Moriarty asked for you. Your friends here-" Crowley gestured to Molly, Sam and Dean. "-Might be alive because of demons. But you wouldn't even exist without one."
Crowley chuckled. "You know, I guess I shouldn't be surprised you've hooked up with the Winchesters. You have been looking for me, haven't you, Sherlock?"
Sherlock shook his head fractionally. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Right." Crowley poked Sherlock in the chest with a finger. "You know me under the name of my meat suit."
Sherlock felt like the air was punched out of him at Crowley's next words.
"Sebastian Moran." Crowley's lips parted in a smile. "So good to finally meet you."
For the first time in his life, it felt like Sherlock's brain had shut down. He couldn't focus on anything. He was utterly frozen by the pronouncement of Crowley. Dimly, he could hear the demon still talking.
"You know, it's really not fair of me to attack you now," Crowley's voice was very pleasant and he spoke to the others. "Sherlock didn't know to leave well enough alone. So I'm going to give you a pass... Not put my pups on you quite yet."
He laughed. "But... I can't let you get away free and clear. It would go against my nature to ignore this ample opportunity."
Sherlock finally moved at the sound of the door banging open. Three people- demons- strode in.
Crowley laughed. "I'll just let them play with you. Molly- Consider it a gift."
Sherlock looked to the demons, unsure what Crowley had meant by a 'gift' for Molly. Sam and Dean had raised their guns, but Molly was frozen in shock.
The demon in the lead- a woman in her later thirties- smiled broadly, black eyes gleaming. "Hi sweetie... I'm home."
Molly took in a sharp breath. "Mum?"
Molly deals with the reappearance of her mother and the fallout of their talk with Crowley.
Molly felt like the air had been knocked out of her as she looked at the smirking demon wearing her mother’s face. But her instincts kicked in and she raised her shotgun, firing a salt round at the creature. The blast knocked her backwards and back out the door of the motel room.
“Get the salt back down!” Dean growled as he sliced at one of the other demons with the decorative knife the Winchesters seemed to covet. The demon fought back, landing harsh blows against the Hunter. But Dean took the rough treatment, eventually burying the knife into the demon’s chest. The meatsuit seemed to glow orange and smoke billowed out of the body.
Molly looked briefly to Sherlock. The consulting detective remained frozen in shock. “Sherlock!” She snapped.
He still didn’t move. Molly grabbed up the rocksalt, knocking the third demon into Dean’s path. While he dispatched the foul creature, Molly poured salt down in front of the door.
With the remaining demon- with Molly’s mother- now on the other side of the door with no ability to get inside, the room became calm once again.
All except for Dean. He whirled around to face Sherlock. “Great job there, Murder-She-Wrote! Crowley knows where we are!”
Molly looked up at Sherlock. She bit her lower lip, eyeing him worriedly. “Sherlock? Are you all right?”
“Of course he’s all right!” Dean snapped, putting the knife back in his leather jacket. “He didn’t do anything, now did he?”
But Molly knew. Molly knew Sherlock better than almost anyone- maybe even John Watson. She knew he wasn’t okay. All of the things he had heard from Crowley had cut him deeply. The knowledge that it had been a demon deal that had put him on the path to being a detective had shaken him to his very core.
With a groan, Sam pulled himself off the bed. He began to gather the books and weapons that had been scattered over the motel room.
“Sam, you shouldn’t be moving around,” Molly sighed.
“Have to,” Sam muttered. “Can’t stay here now that Crowley knows where we are. He’s going to keep sending demons after us. And, by the way- Mum?”
This question seemed to shake Sherlock out of the fugue state he was in. “Isn’t it obvious, Sam? Molly’s mother was possessed by a demon when she was a young girl. The anti-possession tattoo she has was done at least twenty years ago. No one- not even a diligent demon hunter- would do that to a child unless they had a personal stake in it. Arthur Hooper lost his wife to a demon. But she did not die. She has simply been possessed for… What? Twenty-two years?”
“Twenty-three,” Molly corrected. She looked down, taking in a deep, trembling breath. “Dad had crossed some demons. They were looking for him. Tried to get to him through us. Possessed Mum and tried to kill me. He was only able to save me.”
Dean’s brow furrowed. “Your mom’s been possessed for twenty-three years?”
Sam shook his head. “Molly, you know, if you were able to get her exorcised…”
“There’s nothing left of her in there,” Molly whispered, wiping away the tears that had dripped down her cheeks. “I know that. Even a year with a demon inside is enough to drive a person insane.”
Dean nodded. He stepped up to stand in front of Molly. He pulled the knife from his jacket once again. “The humane thing for me to do to her is stick this in her gut.”
Molly nodded. “I know.” She reached out, covering Dean’s hand with hers. “But please don’t. She’s my mother. I’ll take care of it. I won’t let her go.”
Dean frowned. “Are you sure? I know how this sort of thing can be emotional…”
“She won’t get emotional,” Sherlock interrupted. He insinuated a hand between Molly and Dean, separating them. He gazed down at Molly. She felt her stomach do a flip-flop as she was scrutinized by him. “After all, she’s the one who killed you, isn’t she?”
Molly averted her gaze. “I really wish you wouldn’t do that.”
“It’s my-” Sherlock started. When he stopped talking, Molly looked back up at him. A haunted expression had come over his face. He quickly looked away as well, going to pick up what remained in the motel room. “I would think the smart thing to do would be to inhabit your automobile for the time being. Stay on the move.”
With a sigh, Molly slung her gun over her shoulder and picked up one of the Winchester’s duffel bags. She glanced out the window. Her mother was no longer in sight. But she knew the demon wouldn’t be gone for long.
The Impala roared down the highway. The strains of House of the Holy issued from the car’s speakers. Molly wrung her hands and looked up at Sherlock, sitting next to her in the backseat.
Sherlock glanced down at her imperiously. “Don’t,” he said firmly.
“What?” Molly squeaked. “I wasn’t doing anything.”
“Of course you were,” Sherlock replied icily. “You were attempting to figure out exactly how I am feeling about the revelation that James Moriarty sold his soul for a worthy adversary and I was moulded into that for him.”
“You’re clever, Sherlock,” Molly whispered. “Clever as they come. Even a demon couldn’t fake that.”
“I never thought he did,” Sherlock replied tersely. He turned away from Molly to look out the window. Molly looked down at her clutched hands. She felt stupid and ineffectual. She wished that John were around. Maybe Sherlock would talk to him. As it was…
“I don’t wish to talk to anyone,” Sherlock insisted. “So don’t mentally berate yourself. You are a perfectly adequate companion. I just wish to be left alone.”
“O-Oh.” Molly nodded. “O-Okay then.”
“You know,” Dean said, glancing into the rearview mirror. “You’ve kinda got this Three Faces of Eve thing going on, Doc. Can’t seem to figure out exactly what you’ve got going on. One second you’re this badass hunter, the next you’re this squeaky little doctor.”
“Sorry?” Molly apologized, unable to keep the question out of it. She didn’t know if that was meant to be a bad thing or not. It didn’t really sound all that complimentary.
“It’s just interesting,” Dean replied. “Both are kind of cute, if it makes you feel any better.”
Molly blushed deeply. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do with Dean, especially as she felt Sherlock glaring at her.
Molly was dreaming. She knew she was dreaming. It screamed out to her with every ragged breath she took- she thought she took.
She was alongside her father once again. He looked as he had when she’d been fourteen. Yet she was no longer fourteen. She was thirty-three years old. She was no longer a Hunter. None of this was real.
Yet it had been real. She’d tried to deny it, pretend her life was that of mousy Doctor Molly Hooper, MBBS, MRCP, FRCPath.
The girl who had never thrown a punch, never fired a gun. Who didn’t have a tattoo low on her belly. Who hadn’t rushed at a vampire as he buried is fangs into some poor soul’s neck.
That was what she was doing. Barrelling down on the vampire, knocking him off the shaking girl. The vampire had nearly a foot and at least 30 kilos on Molly, but the momentum was enough to knock him off balance. Molly brought up the machete in her hands and swung it down, pressing it into his throat. She pressed down, the blood spatter misting across her face. She kept her lips pressed closed tightly, keeping out any of the infectious blood.
“I never would have deduced this.”
Molly turned, still clutching the machete tightly in her hands. It was him. Sherlock. His long Belstaff coat seemed to ripple around him in a non-existent breeze. “What else have you been hiding, Miss Hooper? What do you know about me?”
Molly opened her mouth to speak, but Sherlock was now in front of her. His gloved hands gripped her arms, hauling her up towards him. “I need to know you.”
He was close. So very close. She could feel his breath falling heavily on her lips. Her heart began to pound.
“What will he do to me?” Sherlock bellowed. “What is he planning?”
And those ice blue eyes turned red. Molly screamed and tried to pull away from Sherlock.
Only, it wasn’t Sherlock any longer. The Irish brogue was detectable even in the cold laugh. “Someone’s been a very naughty girl.”
Molly writhed and shrieked as she woke up. She tried to push away the hands that held her. She could feel the grip- Jim’s grip- burning into her.
“DOC! CALM DOWN!” Dean demanded. “You were just dreaming.”
Molly blinked blearily as she looked up at Dean. His brow was furrowed in concern. She then glanced around her surroundings. She was still in the backseat of the Impala. “Oh,” Molly murmured. “I’m… I’m sorry…”
Dean pulled himself out of the open car door. “Yeah. Well…” He shrugged. “Know how the dreams can be sometimes.”
“I’m sure you have it worse,” Molly murmured. “I mean, hellish nightmares are… Well, hellish nightmares.”
Dean shrugged. He grunted in noncommittal assent. “Managed to convince Cas to fix up Sam. His heavenly juice ain’t what it used to be, but at the very least he’s not gonna fall apart on us. He and Sherlock have gone out to get things for a pipebomb.”
Molly scrubbed her face with her hands. “Where are we?” She stepped out of the car. The motel parking lot looked eerily similar to the one they had just been at. But she knew it was different. That was one thing she had discovered about the motel parking lots in America. Every single one of them looked the same.
“About three hundred miles from where we last were,” Dean replied. “You slept through most of it. Come on, we got a room.”
“Oh. Right.” Molly nodded and followed Dean into the motel room.
Dean picked up a shotgun, loading it with salt rounds. He kept his back to Molly as he worked. She bit her lower lip as she placed salt in front of the doors and windows.
“So your mom, huh?” Dean suddenly said.
Molly gave a small jump, turning to him. “Huh?”
“Was she really the one who killed you?” Dean asked, looking back at Molly. “I mean, I know that Cheekbones said she was who did, but you didn’t exactly confirm it…”
Molly nodded. “Yeah. She was. I don’t remember dying. But I know she was the last thing I saw before… I woke up again.” She pressed her lips tightly for a moment. “Just a bit of advice- Sherlock usually knows what he’s talking about. I know it can be infuriating, but you might want to listen to him. He’s usually right.”
Dean put down his shotgun and walked to Molly. He looked down at her. “You’re really in love with the guy, aren’t you?”
“I-” Molly started. The heat in her cheeks grew and she averted her gaze. “I was just saying he’s really smart.”
“You two can walk,” Dean pointed out. He gestured to the door. “Sounds like you two both have a lot on your plate without demons on your ass.”
Molly shook her head. “It doesn’t work that way, Dean. You know that. My mother’s one of the demons after you. And Sherlock sure as hell isn’t going to let Crowley get away with what he’s done. Now I know Hunters don’t exactly play nice with each other… But do you mind working with me and Sherlock?”
“Don’t mind working with you,” Dean gave Molly a light poke in the shoulder. “Miss Marple on the other hand…”
“He’s a good man,” Molly insisted. “A bit difficult to deal with, but still… The best I know.”
“Maybe I’m just jealous,” Dean said with a small smile.
Molly swallowed hard. “Dean… I… Well… Ah… Ummm… I don’t… Ahh…”
Dean laughed, shaking his head. “You know, I don’t think I’ve met a Hunter who was so uncomfortable with sex. That a British thing?”
“I hunted with my dad,” Molly pointed out. “I’m not exactly used to having freedom in flirting with Hunters. Most were too worried about getting a shotgun blast to their tackle.”
Dean leaned in towards her. “So it’s just been doctors and uptight detectives for you? That’s a shame.”
“D-Dean,” Molly managed to get out, only stammering a bit on his name. “You’re very charming.”
Dean nodded. “I get it.”
“Things are just… Complicated. Better to not complicate it any-“
And then Molly heard it. The loud growling. It seemed to reverberate through the motel room. Her eyes widened and she looked to the door.
“Shit,” Dean swore. He picked his shotgun back up. “I thought we’d still have time.”
“It has our scent,” Molly whispered. “And it’s the beast of hell. Not many places we can run from it.”
Dean gave Molly a hard and determined look. “When I say run- RUN.”
I've been very vague as to when exactly "Old Habits" is set in the Supernatural universe, just that it's set after the Purgatory thing. After the last episode, I can firmly place it between "A Little Slice of Kevin" and the yet-to-air "Hunteri Heroici".
Sam Winchester was tall.
That was the first thing Sherlock noted about the man. Of course, there were much deeper observations that could be made, but his height certainly stuck out. Sherlock was used to towering over everyone he knew and Sam Winchester had a few inches on him.
As they walked along to the hardware store, Sherlock continued to make deductions about him.
Issues with both of his parents. Ah, mother died when he was an infant and a he was raised by a stern father. Overprotected by Dean. Two- no, three long-term relationships. All ended badly. A substance abuse problem he'd had under control for several years.
The idle chatter Sam made about Sherlock's casework in London indicated he was more cerebral than his Neanderthal of a brother. All in all, he could see working with this man. Dean, on the other hand...
It didn't help that Dean kept flirting with Molly.
Sherlock wasn't jealous. No, of course he wasn't. Why in the word would he be jealous of some alcoholic, commitment-phobic demon hunter sniffing around Molly? Molly was not his type. She was mousey and shy, her features plain.
Not that she was unattractive. She had an earnest allure that had gotten her many admirers when they were still in London. Molly herself was actually unaware how many men actually found her desirable. Even John had expressed his admiration of her appearance.
But someone like Dean would not see Molly's understated appeal. He preferred buxom, plastic women, ones that looked like they should be on television. Oh, he was flirting with Molly, but that was only because it was as natural to him as breathing to flirt with a woman. He didn't know how not to flirt with a woman.
It was irritating.
Why was Sherlock focusing on Dean's trifling with Molly? It was such a petty and boring triviality.
Oh. Of course. Everything else was too heady.
A year. He'd spent a year trying to track down the members of Moriarty's network. He'd been successful on many of his missions. He'd taken so many down. But Sebastian Moran was the real lynchpin.
Now he discovered that Sebastian Moran was the King of Hell.
It seemed unlikely a keen intellect would do much good in combating against the King of Hell.
Especially when the King of Hell contributed to his keen intellect.
How much had he actually contributed? What of him was real and not a construct of a deal James Moriarty had made for his soul?
"You have personal experience with demon deals," Sherlock asked Sam, staring intensely at the massive hunter.
"Huh?" Sam looked down at Sherlock, surprised by the sudden exclamation from Sherlock. "What's going on?"
"Demon deals," Sherlock repeated, rolling his eyes. "You have personal experience in them. Your brother sold his soul. So did your father. I suspect you have had other experiences."
Sam's expression darkened. He nodded slowly. "Yeah. They did. Why?"
Sherlock pressed his lips together tightly, thinking about how next to proceed in the conversation. "I..." He paused. "I am curious about the conventions of this world I have been introduced to. It seems that demon deals seem to be a common thread amongst Hunters."
Sam sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Yeah. In my family, I'm the only one who never made one." He paused for a long moment, looking down. "Well, not the same sort of deal."
Sherlock surveyed Sam closely. It seemed Sam Winchester's past was littered with horrible choices, made for what he thought was the greater good. He was overly emotional and it brought him to ruin. Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Now, tell me about these deals. I want to know everything."
The engine of the Impala roared as the car sped down the road. "Keep going!" Molly shouted, looking over her shoulder out the back window.
"I don't even know where it is!" Dean shouted back. "How am I supposed to drive away from the damn thing?"
"It's still behind us," Molly shouted. She reached into the backseat and grabbed a shotgun. "Just keep driving!"
Dean looked over as Molly rolled down the window. "What are you doing?" Dean shouted.
"Just trust me!" Molly said as she pulled herself out of the window, perching precariously on the door as she aimed the shotgun behind them.
Dean looked out of the rear view mirror. He heard the shotgun blast and saw the rock salt connect with something invisible. "It's not going to stop it!"
"I can at least slow it down!" Molly shouted. She fired again at the invisible beast.
There was a bump in the road, causing the car to jostle. Molly shrieked and lost purchase on the car, falling out of the window and hitting the ground with a thump. It was only a quick roll out of the way that kept her from being run over by the back wheels.
"DAMMIT! DOC!" Dean shouted, slamming on the brakes.
He could see in the mirror that Molly had lost her shotgun. She limped to get away from the invisible beast.
Dean grabbed another shotgun from the back and leapt out of the Impala as Molly tripped. He aimed, unsure where he was supposed to point the gun.
The young doctor was panicked as she reached into her coat and pulled out a small glass bottle. She threw it and it hit something, shattering. The liquid inside spread over the creature. Holy water.
Dean fired at the beast as he heard Molly begin to chant. "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio, infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica."
Molly scrambled backwards and Dean lined up another shot. Molly's voice grew in pitch with her fear. "Ergo, draco maledicte. Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos!"
Molly screamed as there was a loud howl and a gust of wind blew her hair back. It quickly calmed and Molly relaxed.
Dean lowered his shotgun warily. "Did you just exorcise a hellhound?"
Molly nodded slowly. "It would appear so."
Dean strode to Molly and grabbed her, helping her to her feet. "Are you all right?"
Molly grimaced. "I think I dislocated my shoulder."
Dean took a hold of Molly's shoulder. She shrieked as he readjusted it. She grabbed her arm, her face lined with pain. "Thanks... Been a long time since I did that."
Dean looked to where the hellhound has just been. "I didn't know that would work."
Molly laughed weakly. "Neither did I. I panicked and..." She sighed in relief. "Hellhounds are just extra-strong demons, right? I doubt it'll be gone for long, but..."
Dean licked his lips as he looked down at the small woman. "We should call Sam and Sherlock."
Molly nodded. "Yeah. We really should."
Dean gestured to her arm. "Maybe Cas to fix up your arm better."
Molly again nodded. "Yeah."
Suddenly, Molly's good hand was buried in Dean's hair, pulling him down towards her. Her mouth eagerly sought Dean's. He fell into her frantic affection easily. His arms slipped around her slender waist, pulling her towards him.
He knew she was in pain, but she seemed to be ignoring it at she eagerly explored him. Dean wasn't going to object, lost in her touches. He hadn't been with anyone since before he'd gone to Purgatory. His heart was pounding, the blood thrumming through his veins. He needed to experience this Hunter, to feel her against him.
Dean directed her back towards the Impala. Without pulling away he opened the backseat and eased her in. He looked down at Molly as she laid out on the backseat. He hesitated only briefly. He wasn't blind. He knew how she felt about her companion. "You sure about this?"
Molly just pulled Dean down onto her. "Dean. Just shut up."
Molly knew all of the clichés about Hunters. How they went to a town, hooked up with a random person while adrenaline ran high before riding off again to get to the next case. That had never been her experience hunting. She'd been a teenager with her father next to her for most of her time as a Hunter. Of course, she'd had people hit on her, but she'd never the opportunity to indulge herself.
She'd lost her virginity when she went to Uni. She'd been with him for six months. Her only other lover had been a doctor at Barts about three months before Sherlock started coming around. He'd ended up transferring to Bristol.
It was not that Molly had a problem with the idea of one-night stands. She'd just never had the opportunity.
Now that she had, she wasn't sure how she felt about it.
Dean was pulling his t-shirt over his head. He seemed utterly unfazed by what had just happened.
It had been the most passionate sex Molly ever had. She couldn't deny the fact that Dean was very good at it. He obviously had quite a bit of practice.
However, she felt hollowness. As exhilarating as their kisses had been, as pleasurable as his touch was... Molly felt cold at the idea of having another such romp with Dean. She was not going to fall into his arms and profess her undying love to him.
What plagued her mind was how she was going to explain things to Sherlock.
She quickly squashed down that thought. There was no need to her to explain. She did not owe him any sort of excuse for what she'd done. She was a grown woman and not beholden to Sherlock in the least.
Yet she still felt guilty.
Dean chuckled softly, looking over at Molly, a flirtatious gleam in his eyes. "Well, Inspector Stick-Up-His-Ass doesn't know what he's missing."
"Don't," Molly snapped, protectively curling her arms around herself. She was dressed now, but she felt more exposed than ever.
Dean raised his hands. "Whoa, whoa, Doc... I was just making a joke."
Molly shook her head. "It's not a funny one."
Dean opened the driver's side door of the Impala. He glared at Molly over the hood. "Shouldn't feel guilty. You and Sherlock aren't together. So we had a bit of fun. Nothing to be ashamed of."
Molly couldn't look at Dean. "I don't usually do this."
Molly could feel Dean's gaze on her. "Well, maybe you needed to. And if that jerk's going to be so stupid that he doesn't recognize a hot piece of tail when he sees one, then you and I shouldn't feel bad about it."
Molly opened the passenger side door and climb into the car. She glanced carefully at Dean.
Dean frowned as he caught Molly's gaze. He shifted uncomfortably as their eyes met. "I mean, that is what's bugging you, isn't it? You didn't think..."
Molly couldn't help herself. She let out a small laugh. "Oh no! No, no, no, no, no."
Dean's brow furrowed as he scowled at Molly. "You know, it really isn't all that funny."
Molly covered her mouth, trying to stem her laughter. "Of course it's not. I'm sorry. It's just..."
"You have horrible taste in men," Dean finished.
Molly turned to look at onto the road as Dean began to drive. "I assume that's present company excluded?"
Dean went quiet, seeming to consider it for a long time. Molly glimpsed over as he shook his head. "Nope. Even then you're screwed."
When they got out of the Impala out of the motel and walked towards the door to their room, Dean turned to Molly. "Okay, maybe it would be best if we kept quiet about what just happened..."
Molly smiled softly. Dean really didn't know Sherlock all that well. She nodded. "All right, Dean. If you think that's best."
Dean opened the door to the room. Sam and Sherlock were removing supplies from a hardware store from the bag. While it all looked to be innocent, Molly knew it could all be assembled into deadly bombs.
"What happened to you guys?" Sam asked, looking worriedly over Dean and Molly.
Sherlock's shrewd gaze narrowed on Molly. She could almost hear the gears turning in his head. "I do hope you used protection, Molly. You have no idea what he has."
"Hey!" Dean snapped angrily.
Molly crossed her arms over her chest and sighed. "It's not really any of your business, Sherlock."
"Of course it is." Sherlock rose to his feet, striding to Molly. "Sam and I have been out retrieving implements for a bomb to destroy a hellbeast. Meanwhile, you've been shagging a violent alcoholic with daddy issues who picks up random women because he needs to reassert the sexuality that has been confused by feelings for an angel inhabiting a male body."
"And what business is it of yours?" Molly demanded.
Dean held up his hands. "Hold up-- I'm reasserting my what?"
Both Molly and Sherlock ignored Dean's interjection to focus on one another. Molly scowled at Sherlock. "Cerberus isn't a problem right now. I exorcised him. It won't last long, but we've at least got a few hours." She clenched her fists, trying to steel herself. She needed to resist the urge to fold under Sherlock's gaze. It would have been so easy. "And what I do with my personal life is none of your business."
Sherlock just continued to glare down at Molly. She wanted to look away from him. She wanted to squeak and run.
She was saved the trouble when Sherlock finally took his eyes off of her. "Fine," he said gruffly. He pushed past her, striding to the door.
"Where are you going?" Molly demanded.
"Out," Sherlock replied as he threw open the door.
"It's not safe," Molly called after him.
Sherlock glanced back over his shoulder. "I thought you said you exorcised Cerberus. Don't pretend I can't take care of myself, Molly Hooper."
Molly sighed and waved a hand dismissively, allowing Sherlock to leave without another word. Maybe it wasn't the smartest option, with Crowley and the demons out, but at least the hellhound wasn't going to be attacking. She knew Sherlock well enough that she was never going to be able to keep him around if he didn't want to stay.
Molly caught Dean's eyes as they began to go through the supplies Sam and Sherlock had picked up. Sam sighed. "What the hell were you two thinking?"
"What do you think I was thinking, Sammy?" Dean demanded. He turned his attention back to Molly. "Well, maybe you had to give him a bit of a push."
Molly tilted her head in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
Dean gestured to the door. "Him. Quite the hissy fit he just threw over you."
Molly shook her head. "Oh no. No." She laughed. "That wasn't... That had nothing to do with me."
Sam was looking to the door. His expression was dark. "You're right. He's been trying to get out of here since we got back."
Molly gulped as she took back to the door. "Why would he do that?"
"I think he's still having trouble dealing with demons and everything," Sam replied. "He was quizzing me about it while we were picking up what we needed."
"What about?" Dean asked.
"Everything." Sam looked to his brother. "Crowley, how demons possess people, crossroad deals."
Molly felt her stomach sink. "He was asking about crossroad deals? How much did you tell him?"
"I told him--" Sam stopped abruptly. He shook his head slowly. "You're not suggesting..."
Molly's eyes widened. "Keep working on the bombs. I need to go after him."
Dean snorted. "What would he have to gain from making a demon deal?"
Molly raced to the door. "Everything."
Sherlock finished burying the photo and waited in the middle of the intersection. He felt foolish waiting for some supernatural being to appear. Then, it seemed this was actually perfectly rational and even ordinary given the right point of view.
Behind Sherlock, he heard the dark chuckle. "Well, well, well... Maybe you're not on the side of the angels."
A heartbeat after he first heard that familiar Irish brogue, Sherlock had his gun out and he whirled around, training it on the well-dressed man.
Moriarty laughed coldly, looking down at the weapon. "Please, Sherlock... I shot myself in the head and I'm still standing in front of you. You're embarrassing yourself."
Sherlock lowered his gun, but did not put it away. "How are you here?"
Moriarty clasped his hands behind his back, giving a small shrug. He smiled. "Weeeeeelllll... You are right. It normally takes long for someone to go from hellhound chow to crossroad dealer. But then, I've always been a bit extraordinary."
Sherlock regarded Moriarty carefully. "Yes. You have." He wasn't the same. The way Moriarty carried himself was entirely different than before. This was not the man he remembered. This was him twisted into an actual demon. "I suppose you're one of the few who gave themselves over to being a demon with no compunction."
"What point was there in resisting?" Moriarty shrugged. "Centuries of torture to reach a forgone conclusion? And what is that conclusion? An immortal being with superhuman strength, telepathy and telekinesis?" He chuckled darkly. "Yes, that really does sound like something I would like to avoid, doesn't it?" He smoothed down his suit. "And I was even able to negotiate into my own old meatsuit. Call me vain, but... I was pretty attached to this body."
Sherlock nodded slowly. "And now you're bargaining for other people's souls."
Moriarty's smile was absolutely wicked. "It's hardly much of a change from what I was doing while I was human."
Sherlock let out a small laugh. "Jim, will you fix it... Of course I will, in exchange for your soul."
Jim rolled his eyes. "Oh, don't play the righteous indignation with me, Sherlock. Even if I didn't have telepathy, I'd know how much stock you put in souls."
Sherlock sighed, rolling his eyes. There were many things he had seen in the past few days that he had never believed were possible. But a soul was something that was still difficult to believe in. "Some dressed up name for a consciousness. Nothing more."
Jim's gaze turned red for a moment as his eyes narrowed on Sherlock. "You really want to believe that, don't you?" He laughed. "It'll make it easier for you. You didn't call me here to catch up on old times."
Sherlock took a deep breath, trying to keep the neutral expression on his face. "Before we discuss anything, you're going to answer one question."
Moriarty adjusted his tie. "If you insist."
"Why me?" Sherlock demanded. "You sold your soul to Crowley in exchange for a worthy opponent. Why did it have to be me?"
Moriarty cocked his head in curiosity. "Are you not happy? You're one of the cleverest men on the planet. The consulting detective-- the only one in the world. You're not ordinary. You received something people have sold their souls for and you didn't lose anything."
Sherlock gripped his gun tighter. "But I didn't choose it!"
Moriarty shook his head slowly. His gaze turned red once again. "No, Sherlock... You didn't choose it. It chose you. It was always going to be you."
Sherlock shook his head slowly. "Crowley told me. You wanted a worthy adversary. And I was made into one."
Moriarty laughed. "Not that it's my job to make you feel better about yourself, Sherlock... But he just nudged you in the right direction. He didn't change you. Made sure you saw news on Carl. Brought John to you when you needed him. But the brain? That's all you, honey."
Sherlock let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding. He believed him. He had no reason to. Moriarty was still Moriarty and-- more than that-- he was a demon. But he had nothing to gain in lying to Sherlock on this front.
His mind was his own. It wasn't an unholy gift from the King of Hell. He wasn't a fraud. Oh, he'd still been manipulated, but not everything was a lie.
"Now..." Moriarty clasp his hands together. "Now that you're feeling better about yourself, are we going to talk about the real reason you called me here?"
Sherlock thought about lying. About feigning a reason for summoning Moriarty. The demon saved him the trouble. Of course. Telepathic powers and all.
"I want to hear you admit it," Moriarty insisted. He stepped closer to Sherlock. Sherlock could feel Moriarty's warm breath against him. Demons still breathed. That was something he had to file away. "I know what you're thinking. But I want to hear it from your own lips. Do it."
"I want to make a deal," Sherlock's voice came out a soft rasp.
Moriarty laughed darkly. "I know you do. You need me, Sherlock. But not like you need yourself. And you don't have that now. You've had all of that taken away from you. By me."
"I want to be able to go back to my life," Sherlock admitted. He tried vainly to swallow the lump in his throat. "I want to be in London. I want to be working. I want to be with John."
Sherlock closed his eyes when Moriarty continued to laugh. He was ashamed of himself, of his weakness. He might not have been able to read Moriarty's mind like Moriarty was him, but he still knew what was coming next. "Why can't you do it yourself, Sherlock?" Moriarty mocked.
"Because I can't beat you," Sherlock admitted. It took every ounce of nerve he had to get the sentence out. "Not with you like this. Sebastian Moran is the King of Hell. Whatever my abilities..." He shook his head. "I don't want to be in this world. I don't want to fight demons and monsters. I just want to go back to my life."
"That is very easy to do." Moriarty replied. Sherlock opened his eyes and Jim was even closer to him now. His smile was wide, toothy-- shark-like. "Do you know how demon deals are sealed, Sherlock?"
Sherlock nodded silently.
Moriarty moved closer still. He brought his hands up to Sherlock's face. "Well then... Pucker up, Buttercup."
As Moriarty tilted his head to join his lips with Sherlock's, Sherlock felt heat whiz by his cheek. Moriarty was knocked back by the bullet to his forehead.
Sherlock turned to see Molly lowering her smoking gun. Her expression was something Sherlock had never seen on the girl before: absolute malice and determination.
"You could have hit me," Sherlock snapped waspishly.
"No I couldn't," Molly's response was just as tart. "But even if I did, you'd still be better off. At least your soul would be in tact."
Sherlock was about to respond that the soul didn't matter. All that mattered to him was getting his life back. But he was interrupted by the maniacal laughter of Moriarty. He had recovered from the shot to the head, wiping a stray bit of blood from his forehead. "Good golly, Miss Molly. How did you get past me? Crowley never told me about you..." He licked the blood off his hand. "If he had, I might have given you that jump you were aching for."
Molly raised her gun again. "It might not kill you, but I will riddle you with holes if you don't step back."
Moriarty rolled his eyes. "Molly, we are in the middle of making a deal."
"Like hell!" Molly snapped. "There's not going to be any deal made tonight." She reached into her jacket and pulled out a knife. It was the knife the Winchester's treasured. The one that could kill demons. She strode to Sherlock, getting between him and Moriarty. "You're walking away with your life, Jim. Be thankful for that."
Moriarty peered around Molly. "Be seeing you, Sherlock. I'm sure of it."
Sherlock opened his mouth to yell, to chastise Molly for getting in the way. Before he could get anything out, Molly's elbow slammed back, hitting him in the mouth. She whirled around, her eyes alight with fury. "What the hell do you think you were doing?"
Sherlock brought his hand up to his bleeding mouth. "What I have to do!" He snapped back.
"NO!" Molly shouted. There were tears in her eyes, even with the anger in his expression. "You never have to do that! You don't sell your soul!"
"It's a soul, what does it matter?" Sherlock demanded.
"Ten years!" Molly cried. "Ten years, that's what you'd get. Ten years of your life back. And then those hellhounds would come for you. And you won't be able to outsmart them, Sherlock. They'll hunt you down and tear you apart limb from limb. And your soul will burn in hell. A month is like ten years in hell. You'll be tortured every day, until you become just like Moriarty. Is that what you want?"
"I want my life back," Sherlock hissed.
"What about my life?" Molly continued to rage. "I gave it up. I gave up everything for you. And this is how you repay me? By damning yourself? I won't let you do it!"
"You let your father do it," Sherlock pointed out, glaring at Molly.
"And if I had known that was what he was doing I damn well would have stopped him." Molly sniffled, still shaking with rage. She dropped the knife and delivered a right cross to Sherlock's jaw. "I lost my father to the pit, I can't lose you too!"
Sherlock stood there, watching Molly. Here was this girl he had known for years. But she was so different. This was the real her. This was the girl she had been hiding from him for years. But one thing hadn't changed. How she felt about him.
He didn't know what had compelled him. He ignored his bleeding mouth and the gun in her hand. He grabbed her by the waist and tugged her to him, taking her lips in a ferocious, hungry kiss.
Molly and Sherlock walked sedately with each other back towards the motel. Molly looked down at the knife she'd taken from the Winchesters. It was easier to look at it than it was Sherlock. "It's a beautiful piece. It's an ancient demon-hunting knife of the Kurds. But I had heard all of them were stolen by Lucifer's army. Wonder where the Winchesters got it from?"
"Lucifer's Army?" Sherlock replied and Molly could feel his gaze on her. She became uncomfortable, muscles tightening. When would Sherlock cease having this effect on her? "As in the devil?"
She nodded slowly in answer to his question. It was a simple enough one to answer, really. "Satan, the Morning Star, Beelzebub... I could go on. Very real."
Sherlock reached a hand out to touch Molly on the arm. She was strongly reminded of the intense few minutes they'd spent kissing just up at the crossroad. "You are telling me the Devil is just walking around?"
"Not anymore," Molly replied. She slipped the blade back into her coat. "It was after I'd retired, but I still heard about it."
"About what?" Sherlock didn't move his fingers away from Molly's arm. She relaxed as she got used to the sensation.
"The Apocalypse," Molly replied. "Happened about four years ago. Remember, there were all of those earthquakes, tsunamis.... All inexplicable and severe."
"Trivia," Sherlock replied dismissively.
"It happened," Molly insisted. "But from what I hear, Sam and Dean stopped it. Of course, they inadvertently kick-started it... But at least they cleaned up after themselves!" She let out a nervous laugh.
Sherlock moved in front of Molly, stopping still and looking down at her. He smiled softly. "Don't make jokes, Molly."
Molly felt a swell of nerves in her as Sherlock loomed over her, his eyes flying over her person, taking her in. She always got butterflies in her stomach around him. It was worse now that she knew what the touch of his lips was like. She thought he'd be uninterested, cold.
But she'd found someone passionate, hungry. Definitely not uninterested.
"You're exactly as you were before," Sherlock said, stepping closer. "Even though you are a monster hunter."
Molly felt the heat rising in her cheeks. "I told you. I didn't lie about who I was... Just about what I did."
"I suppose that's true..." Sherlock began to lean in.
Molly withdrew before his lips could touch her. "What are you doing?"
Sherlock blinked, drawing to full height. "I-I thought... This was what you wanted."
"No!" Molly exclaimed. She then looked away bashfully. "I mean, it is what I want, but..." She shook her head. "Sherlock, you didn't show interest in me before any of this..."
Sherlock blinked at Molly. "Is that what you think?" He brushed a lock of hair off of Molly's forehead. "You really don't know?"
"Know what?" Molly asked, her insides squirming. She was absolutely baffled by this turn of events.
"Oh, everyone is so vacant!" Sherlock said, his usually acidic words losing their sting as he said them with a soft laugh, one that sounded almost...fond. "Even you... And the whole reason I like you is because you're more observant than most of humanity."
Suddenly, Molly's insides stopped squirming. She glared at Sherlock, crossing her arms over her chest. "Not the way to win a girl over, Sherlock."
"The day before the fall," Sherlock pressed on. "When you pointed out how I looked. You were the only person who saw me." He sighed, stroking his long fingers over Molly's cheek, making her shiver. "And then I saw you. I really saw you for the first time." He sighed. "Maybe I didn't see everything, obviously... But I saw enough."
Molly bit her bottom lip, doing her best to slow down her racing heart by taking a deep breath.
"I'd like to do this slowly," Molly murmured. "This is a lot. Hunting again... What happened between us. Just a few hours ago, I slept with Dean. I can't just jump into-- whatever-- with you."
Sherlock's gaze narrowed. "I don't know what this is supposed to be."
Molly nodded, letting out a short mirthless laugh. "I know. That's why we've got to take it slow."
Sherlock nodded slowly. Molly could tell he wasn't really happy with the decision. He would have to get used to it. Whatever it was that was happening, they couldn't mess it up. All they had was each other.
"Can I ask you something?" Molly asked.
"Why was I willing to make a deal?" Sherlock asked. "Despite the fact I would know that being back in my own life was an illusion."
Molly opened her mouth to question Sherlock's prediction of what she was going to say. Sherlock just gave her a look. She let out a small squeak, her cheeks turning red. "Oh. Of course. But... Yeah. Why..."
"I was going to ask him to wipe my memories," Sherlock replied. "Make it so that I didn't remember any of this world. Have Moran just disappear and give me the evidence to clear my name."
Molly took in a deep, trembling breath. "You really want that? You'd be willing to condemn yourself to hell... In order not to remember this world?"
Sherlock pulled away from Molly. He raked his fingers through his hair. "I am very clever. Too clever for my own good, most people would say." He sighed deeply. "But when it comes to this world-- this world that you've lived in-- I am an absolute moron. And that frightens me in ways I have never felt before." He looked up at Molly. "I don't know if I can handle knowing that I am completely stupid."
Molly shook her head. "You're not stupid, Sherlock. This is... It's an adjustment."
Sherlock laughed bitterly. "An adjustment?"
Molly nodded. "Yeah. I was raised in this. But most hunters don't come to it until they're adults. It's always the same. Something horrible happens, introducing them to the supernatural. And even if you forgot, you would never be out. Believe me." Molly bridged the gap between them, cupping Sherlock's face. "You are too clever for your own good. Once you adjust to this world... You're going to be one of the greatest hunters who ever lived."
Molly caressed Sherlock's cheek and he leaned into her hand, looking so much like a cat being stroked. Molly felt her heart begin to speed up.
Slow, she told herself. They needed to take things slow.
"Well--" A voice laughed behind them. "Isn't this a tender moment?"
Molly whirled around, facing off against her mother. No, it was not her mother. It was the thing that had been wearing her mother's body for the better part of two decades.
"Heard about what happened at the crossroads," the demon inside Molly's mother said, laughing. "Moriarty couldn't wait to tell us. But Crowley has an even sweeter deal for you. He asked me to deliver it." She smiled. "Figured you'd be more inclined to listen to me than either Moriarty or himself."
"And what is that?" Sherlock sneered.
Molly turned to look back at Sherlock. "Everything you asked for. Your life back. Not remembering anything about the supernatural world." She turned to her mother once again. "But we've got to give up Sam and Dean."
"You stumbled into this," The demon explained. "You were happily retired. And now that Moriarty is downstairs, whether his network remains running or not is really not our concern. So go on your way. You will have your lives back."
"But Sam and Dean will be dead," Molly replied.
The demon laughed heartily. "One ride in the Impala and you're ready to die for Dean? He can't be that good in bed."
"Not about that." Molly reached into her coat. "But anyone who is fighting the king of Hell... Those are people we want to keep around."
Molly pulled the flask from her jacket, spilling the contents onto the demon's face. She screamed as the holy water burned her.
"Run, Sherlock!" Molly called out. "Warn Sam and Dean! The demons are coming for them! Probably have another dog out from the pit!"
Sherlock was off like a shot and Molly began to chant. "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus."
The demon in her mother's body shook her head. "I've been in here for too long. Send me down, you're killing your mother."
Molly nodded, tears in her eyes. Of course she knew. That was why she was doing it. For twenty years, her mother had been dragged around by a demon. She needed to be at peace, even if it meant her death. "Omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio, infernalis adversarii."
The demon leapt onto Molly, wrapping her hands around her neck. Despites the hands throttling her, Molly continued to chant, her voice raspy. "Omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica."
The demon's hold loosened as she convulsed. Molly took a sharp breath while she had a moment of reprieve. The tears wells as she continued. ""Ergo, draco maledicte. Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus."
The demon shuddered, looking down at Molly in shock as her body shook.
Molly sniffled. "Audi nos!" She then let out a small sob. "Goodbye."
The demon threw her head back and opened her mouth, the black smoke flying out of her mouth.
The body fell limp on top of Molly. She reached out and touched the corpse's hair. The moment the demon had vacated the body its hair turned an ashen grey. "I'm sorry, Mum."
Molly shifted herself up, cradling the body in her arms. She knew she wouldn't have a chance to say goodbye. Her mother's body had been ridden for so long, she had been dead for ages. At least now her soul could be properly at peace.
"Molly?" It was Dean. She looked up at him. Sam and Sherlock were by his side.
"When this is over," Molly whispered. "I'd like to give her a Hunter's Funeral."
Dean nodded silently.
"I think it'll be over a lot sooner than you think."
Crowley. He was standing in front of them, petting the large, invisible creature by his side. "That was one of my best, Doctor Hooper."
"I should have just stabbed her," Molly whispered.
"Not really a nice thing to say about your own mother," Crowley hissed. "But I can't say you're not right. King of Hell. If I want to bring her back, I can any time I want. Like I did with my pup here." He smirked. "You and Sherlock should have taken me up on my deal."
The invisible creature growled loudly. Molly jumped to her feet, joining the guys, who were backing up slowly.
Crowley's smile grew. "Sic 'em, boy!"
As they ran from the Hellhound, Dean was harshly reminded of the time in Carthage. When Lucifer has raised Death. When Ellen and Jo had died.
Again, the Winchesters had dragged two people into their demon melee. Molly and Sherlock could die, for nothing more than wandering the highway at the wrong time.
That was always how it was. People died because they were around at the wrong time.
"Do you have it ready?" Sherlock called out to Dean.
Dean looked over his shoulder. Despite Sherlock's lean build, he seemed to be falling behind the others.
It took Dean a moment to realize what was going on. Molly was looking tired. No doubt the years spent at medical school and working as a doctor had softened her to life as a Hunter. She was winded. Sherlock was remaining a stride behind her, in case Cerberus managed to overtake them.
"Get in!" Sam shouted as he flung open the door of the motel room. "Now!"
Dean ran into the motel, closely followed by Molly. Sherlock still hung back. "What good is hiding going to do?" Sherlock demanded.
"We're not hiding, idiot!" Dean snapped. "We're fighting! Just get in here before that thing gets on your ass!"
Sherlock rolled his eyes before he ran into the motel room. Dean slammed the door shut behind him and opened the bag of black dust, laying it down in front of the door. "Goofer Dust. This will keep that thing out just long enough."
Sam went to the desk and fiddled with the bomb. "This is what you were asking about, wasn't it, Sherlock? The bomb? It's almost ready. We just have to lure that thing in. Then blow it up."
"Blow it up?" Molly squeaked. "In here?"
Dean nodded. "Yeah, Doc. We'll get the thing in through the door. You, Sherlock and Sammy punch out the window and I'll set off the bomb."
"Dean, this idea sucks," Sam snapped.
Molly nodded, biting her lip. "Not only will you be killed Dean... Anyone else who is in this motel might not make it out."
"Do you know any other way?" Dean demanded. "We can't see that thing! The only way to kill it is to lure it into an enclosed space and blow the place up!"
Sherlock was peering out of the window, his head twitching slightly as if he was watching something move quickly. "I can see it just fine."
"What?" Dean growled, stalking over to the infuriating detective. "Did you do something stupid? I thought Molly would've stopped you from serving up your soul to hell!"
"She did," Sherlock replied. He pulled himself up to full height. He was still slightly shorter than Dean himself. "I can still see it. I can deduce where it is."
"What are you saying?" Dean spat. But he knew. He could tell by the look in Sherlock's eyes. He was sure he had that look of determination on his face before. When he'd offered up his soul to save Sam. When he went to meet Michael and Lucifer in Stull Cemetery.
Molly seemed to pick up on it as well. She shook her head. "Sherlock, no..." Her eyes welled with tears.
Sherlock strode to Molly. He brought a hand to the back of her neck, urging her up to look at him.
A twinge of guilt hit Dean. While he didn't care for Sherlock, he could see clearly in that one touch that Molly's feelings were reciprocated.
"Molly, I jumped off that roof to protect John, Lestrade and Mrs Hudson. And now it's time to protect you too. There's no guarantee you would be able to get away from the motel in time." He brushed a lock of hair off her face. "You'll be able to go back to London. Live your life again."
Molly shook her head. "There's no going back. I knew that when I helped you."
"Then you'll stay with Sam and Dean," Sherlock smiled. "They could use all of the help they can get."
Tears were streaming down Molly's cheeks. "Sherlock..."
"I can never go back," Sherlock insisted. "I know that now. I'm already dead. Now let me do this."
He pulled her close, kissing her with more passion than Dean thought the cold man could ever be capable of. But while he did, he drew the knife from Molly's jacket.
He rested his forehead briefly against Molly's. "Sam? Is that bomb ready?"
"Yeah." Sam nodded, holding out the makeshift device.
Sherlock finally pulled away from Molly. He took a breath and took the bomb. "Thank you."
"Good luck," Sam murmured.
Dean regarded Sherlock silently, a newfound-- albeit grudging-- respect forming for the arrogant man. He gave him a small nod.
Sherlock looked at the knife in his hand. "I am sure you will enjoy prying it from my cold, dead hands."
His stride was purposeful. "Put more of that dust down once I'm out." He looked to Molly again. "If you ever see John again, tell him the truth."
He threw the open the door, breaking the line. Dean went to work quickly, shutting it behind him, putting down more dust.
Dean then ran to the window. He saw Sherlock moving, watching the ground, seeing dust get kicked up by the unseen demon creature.
Sherlock was parrying and dodging, swinging the knife and spilling black blood onto the ground.
He then shouted and fell, his side torn open.
"SHERLOCK!" Molly cried, making a run for the door. Sam caught her, holding her tight.
"You can't go, Molly," Sam insisted. "This is the only way."
Dean winced as he saw Sherlock's torso mangled by the unseen claws. He remembered that feeling all too well.
"When's he setting it off?" Dean demanded.
Suddenly, the bomb disappeared. Dean's eyes went wide. "It's got it in its mouth."
Molly went limp in Sam's arms, defeated. "It'll actually kill it... Not just wound it."
But Sherlock had stopped moving. And the bomb hadn't gone off even with the force of the hellhound's fangs.
Dean then saw it. The hint of the bomb. It was still lodged in its mouth. Dean grabbed his shotgun and threw open the window and fired. "Smile, you son of a--"
The bomb went off, black blood spattering over the lot around the motel and hitting Sherlock's corpse.
Molly elbowed Sam, forcing him to let go of her and she went running to the door. Dean and Sam followed her out. Dean kept his gun up as the girl ran to her fallen partner.
"Sherlock," Molly cried, panicked. "Sherlock! Please! NO!" She sobbed.
She cradled his body to her, rocking him in her arms.
Crowley sauntering to them. "Take out my pup, will you? I'm going to have to take that out of every inch of your well-toned asses, boys."
"I don't think so," a gruff voice said.
Dean turned and saw Castiel standing behind him, clutching his angel blade. His eyes glowed.
"Been here before, Cas," Crowley replied. "Do you really think I'm going to back off this time?"
The shadow of Castiel's wings appeared and he began to glow. In an instant, Crowley had disappeared along with his demons.
"Dammit, Cas!" Dean shouted. "Took you long enough!"
Castiel ignored Dean's chastising. He knelt down next to Molly. He reached a hand out and touched it to Sherlock's head.
Sherlock took in a sharp gasp of air and his eyes opened. He sat up straight, looking at Castiel with a shocked expression on his face.
"You'll be fine," Castiel grumbled. He pulled himself back to his feet. "The presence of Cerberus kept me from manifesting properly. Now that he's gone, I can remain with you. He chief hellhound may be dead, but Crowley will try other methods to get Kevin and your half of the tablet."
"Well, super," Dean groused. "And what are we supposed to do in the meantime?" He pointed to Molly and Sherlock. "And what are we supposed to do with them?"
Sherlock was insisting he was fine. A near-death experience was nothing new to him, after all. Molly hated pointing out to him it was actually a full death experience.
Sam was packing up the back of the stolen car with whatever supplies the Winchesters could spare. He held out the hex bags to Molly. "These should keep you and Sherlock off of Crowley's radar."
Molly accepted the bags. "For the moment."
Sam smiled wryly at her. "Yeah. I bet you two will end up making some noise."
Molly slipped the bags into her pocket just in time to watch Sherlock turn the handle of the demon killing knife and holding it out to Dean. "I am sure you wanted to take this off of my corpse, but I hope you'll accept it this way."
"As long as I have it back," Dean replied gruffly. "Listen, after everything we've gone through..." He nodded. "I think you're a douche."
Sherlock smiled tightly. "And I think you should get over your father's macho conditioning and admit the truth about yourself, rather than engaging in meaningless encounters with random women you meet on the road. We all have our own perspectives, don't we?"
Dean glared at Sherlock for a moment before turning to Molly. Sherlock rolled his eyes and strode to Sam to say goodbye to him.
Dean held up Molly's phone. "Put our numbers in here. Better we stay apart. Crowley's going to keep on our asses. If he takes us out, good for there to be others around to pick up where we left off." He handed it to Molly. "But if you guys need help call." He smiled, nodding his head to Sherlock. "You can also call if you get bored of him."
Molly slipped the phone into her pocket. "I don't know... I think things might always stay exciting with him."
"Well, it was worth a shot." Dean sighed. "Think you're going to go back to retirement?"
Molly smiled. "You never retire. Not really." She pulled Dean into a hug. "Take care of yourself, Dean. And if you ever need help... Phones work both ways."
Molly parted from Dean and stood beside Sherlock outside of their car as they watched the Winchesters and Castiel get into the Impala.
"Do you think they know?" Sherlock asked quietly.
"Know what?" Molly frowned slightly.
"That Castiel is a sleeper agent. He's being controlled by someone-- I assume the angels-- in a complicated plan that will most likely result in a battle between Castiel and Dean."
Molly's eyes widened. "What?" She made a move towards the retreating car. "We have to warn them!"
Sherlock grabbed Molly. "It's all right. The angels have underestimated Castiel's feelings for Dean. They'll be fine."
Molly calmed down. "How can you figure all of that out?"
Sherlock chuckled. "After all of this time, you're still questioning me, Molly Hooper?"
Molly walked to the passenger's side door. "So what do we do now?"
Sherlock opened his door. "Well, you have no intention to stop doing this any longer. Moriarty's network is still in place. While Sebastian Moran may be the king of hell, there may still be a way to prove my innocence. The network is no doubt teeming with demons that need to be destroyed in order for Sam and Dean to be able to close the gates of hell. Not to mention all of the people who are in danger from ghosts and monsters. I say we have our work cut out for us."
Molly slipped into the car next to Sherlock. She smiled up at him. "Let's go on a hunting trip."